Sydney Marshall quite literally came of age within the confines of Orlando Speedworld Dragway. His parents met there in the mid-’90s and he frequently visited the track as a young boy, developing a true and deep love of drag racing long before he was even out of grade school.
“So it just felt natural to ask for a job when I got old enough to work,” Marshall recalls of starting in the OSD water box as a 16-year-old high school student.
Now 21 and studying engineering at University of Central Florida, Marshall also serves as OSD track manager and track prep specialist. He says “trying to make everybody happy” is the greatest day-to-day challenge he faces.
“I run scheduling of employees, directing events, keeping an actual flow going during events, along with track prep, everything like that. Pretty much anything on the drag racing facilities, it comes to me first,” Marshall says. “And sometimes you get people mad, but you just gotta’ do what you think is right. Then they can work with what you give them.”
This weekend Marshall is working his special brand of sticky magic at South Georgia Motorsports Park during Duck X Productions’ Sweet 16 Ver. 3.0 with help from fellow OSD employee Jeff Miles and Brandon Mass of Mass Traction.
After spending Monday to Wednesday prior to Sweet 16 at South Georgia for pre-race testing, Marshall said he headed back to Orlando for Thursday, then returned to SGMP on Friday to spend nearly 12 hours scraping and spraying the all-concrete surface in preparation for qualifying to begin mid-Saturday.
“It does take a special breed to commit to this,” he observed. “Because sometimes people say they want to do this job and then you bring them out there for a day and they’re like,’ I don’t know how you do this every day.’ It’s not for everyone. But I love it.
“I do see this to be a full-time career. I still want to get my degree just in case something ever happens and we couldn’t do it anymore, but I could see myself growing and maybe one day owning a race track out of it. If it ever came down to it, I’d really like to do that.”
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